Bristol Good Food Tour: Let’s all Cook and Eat is an innovative partnership initiative inspired by several precursor projects locally and elsewhere. The plan is outreach pop-up cookery events around the city, demonstrating attractive, simple, affordable, low carbon, healthy food, using basic equipment and seasonal ingredients from local suppliers to show what’s achievable by anyone on a budget.

The intention is to leave a legacy by working with local partners to deliver each event, raising awareness and capabilities to deliver more sustainable and attractive food choices.

The idea for the green capital project began in a Bristol Food Network workshop, and it has been allocated some funding from the Bristol 2015 European Green Capital Small Grants Fund awarded through Quartet.

Partnership and Events

The partnership that has formed around the bid development is wide-ranging, and includes existing communities, small businesses, chefs and caterers, food groups, charities and campaigns – all aiming to increase understanding and awareness of the most important aspects of healthy and sustainable food by taking cooking to neighbourhoods, and leaving a legacy of cookery. Demonstrations will be held where people are: local community events and venues, not as ‘cookery events’.

Practical activity is planned to build up from spring into summer 2015. One goal is pop-up cooking events in every one of the 14 city neighbourhoods, prioritising areas where fresh, healthy food is not always available, use of healthy ingredients is sometimes rare, or cookery not practised regularly, falling short of the recommended ‘5 a day’ intake – typically apprearing at established local community events like Love Lockleaze and RedFest.

In addition, ticketed cookery masterclasses are envisaged, where more ambitious recipes will be demonstrated by leading chefs from Bristol and beyond, promoting imaginative dishes that exemplify ‘good food’: low carbon, tasty, and from local suppliers. These are planned partly to recover costs to ensure a longer term project can be developed, and follow earlier events under the auspices of Bristol Friends of the Earth, VIVA, and VegFest – video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hh6SzGmP9s .

There is also a plan for short cookery training courses for teenagers about to move out of care, to develop skills and confidence for using fresh, healthy ingredients to cook for themselves.

Finally appearances at major summer events in the city are intended, promoting ‘good food,’ such as at Keep Sunday Special, Bristol Food Connections, Big Green Week, the Festival of Nature, Love Food, and Get Growing weekend – promoting seasonal food with local ingredients.

Supporting Activities

The group will develop simple recipe cards, e.g. based on local campaign group Viva’s successful cook book. Plus we’ll develop a community cookery manual to help groups build-on the events, with links that can follow through issues raised, e.g. where to get bulk buy ingredients for groups, forming community buying clubs, etc. Mentoring and training advice for simple, healthy, fresh food cooking is intended to leave a lasting legacy from events. Colleagues in Public Health, the NHS, and other organisations like Demuths cookery school have already offered support.

The group is working under the umbrella of Bristol Friends of the Earth and is forming a steering group and project plan. It supports access to supplies of fresh ingredients; advice from buying groups; community farm links; food co-ops; bulk buying, and local markets, plus access to surplus (waste) food (via support from FareShare SW). Support from Pukka Herbs has also been offered to the project.

Access to cooking utensils/equipment can be an issue for some residents and we aim to offer basic cooking kits from local suppliers via bulk-buy arrangements.

Among other opportunities the project hopes to offer volunteering opportunities to set up the outreach events, mobile cookery facilities and distribution of advice and reciupes at community events.

We also hope to promote events via social media, podcasts from earlier events and local magazines. To fulfil the plans further funds are now being sought – the more funds available, the more pop up events and appearances will be possible.

Get Involved

To get involved please contact us: Darran McLane (project manager, darran@bristolfoe.org.uk, 07944 844838), Julian Jones (julian@bristolfoe.org.uk , 07809 122474) and/or Martin Fodor (martin.s.fodor@gmail.com).

Based on an article in Bristol’s Local Food Update, Green Capital Update by Martin Fodor, Jan 2015